Utah is primed for a breakout year on the hardwood, which makes it a dangerous college basketball underdog against San Diego State Tuesday afternoon.
Ready to Make Some Noise
Utah starts the year in the top 25 for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks, as it hits the road after picking up a 90-72 season-opening victory over Ball State as 26.5-point home favorites.
The Utes have one of the more talented players in the Pac-12 Conference, with Delon Wright being a Preseason All-American on numerous lists after averaging 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists a year ago. Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 18-7 SU and 15-4 ATS versus non-conference opponents.
A Big Opportunity
San Diego State has won four of its five home games against ranked opponents since the start of the 2011-12 season, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball Odds , as it comes off a 79-58 triumph over Cal State University Northridge.
The Aztecs have captured 12 of their last 15 games versus current members of the Pac-12, while also rattling off five consecutive home wins in this series by an average margin of 13.2 points. It’s important to point out that the squad is 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons.
Click here for more free NCAA Basketball plays
The Utes are certainly expected to land one of 68 spots in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, especially since they’ll be playing three top-20 teams in the non-conference portion of their schedule for the first time since 1996.
Utah is equipped to handle its early-season schedule with added depth from a talent standpoint, as it ranked second in the Pac-12 in defensive points per possession last year, while finishing 15th nationally in scoring margin.
All About Defense
The Aztecs have held their last 21 non-league foes to 70 or fewer points in games played at Viejas Arena, which has led to a dominating 20-1 SU record in that situation.
Due to its suffocating defense, San Diego State has put together a 128-15 mark at this venue since 2005-06.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Utes as one of their main basketball picks, as they’ve gone 36-16-2 ATS in their last 54 games versus a team with a winning record.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Utah Utes +5.5 at 5Dimes